The Undead (alternate prequel)

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Fantasy  |  House: Booksie Classic
Alternate introduction to the main character of my "The Undead" novel.

Please let me know what you think of this compared to the original Prequel.
I personally think there's an upside to both.
The Original is more intriguing but I think it tells too much of where I want to go from there on, like it's telling the end of the story before it really starts.
This one I think is preferrable since it doesn't make such a huge jump in time.

Submitted: March 31, 2011

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Submitted: March 31, 2011

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Ada pulled the fur coat tightly around herself as she watched the fire consume the blocks of wood. The night was cold as death, the snowstorm outside blew into the cave ferociously, casting flickering shadows against the walls.

Carefully she added more wood to the flames, if the fire went out she would have a serious problem.

In winter it was always the worst, she could hear them howling furiously, raging against their death, trying to stop the torture, trying to overcome the madness.

She understood their suffering.

She had suffered as well, she wished she could do something for them.

From outside she could hear the crunching of footsteps in the snow.

Probably one of them drawn in from the warmth of her fire, it happenes from time to time, when the fire warmed them they turned calm, a peacefull expression spreading on their face as if they had finally found their salvation after a long journey filled with hardships.

Most of the time she couldn't bear to watch them, they were so pitifull it was sad.

A man entered her cave, there was blood all over and a deep wound on his arm.

He carried a sword loosly as if it weighted almost more than he could bear, the blade was overused and rough at the edges, his eyes however were sharp and immediately fell on her.

He wasn't dead!

He looked at her with feverish eyes and asked “you dead?”

Bitterly she replied “as good as”

He waved to someone behind him and a woman carring a small child entered looking from him to Ada with concern.

Adding another block to the fire Ada watched them.

Sheathing the sword the man asked “you mind if we share the cave?”

She didn't care “I don't mind, but don't hold me accountable for whatever happenes”

Frowning he sat down, the woman following suit immediately, rocking the child in her arms while he stripped out of his jacket revealing the whole length of his wound.

Ada watched him, he looked strong, not like a worker, mor like a fighter “It's hard to believe there's someone still alive out here. You a Soldier?”

He tied a cloth around his arm to decrease the flow of blood and examined his wound closely “Yeah, Baldur's the name, got seperated from command in battle” he looked up “what about you? Are you military?”

Ada looked in the fire “I was. My whole regiment was killed... feels like it was ages ago”

For a while he didn't say anything when he spoke again there was a hint of pity in his voice “we should really kill the fire”

Looking up she glared at him “the fire remains”

Frowning again he said “It will attract them”

She only glared at him until he threw up his hands in supplication.

Just then the woman spoke for the first time “It's going to attract the undead don't you care?”

Ada gave a small laugh “the dead don't bother me, but the cold does, the fire remains”

Baldur seemed to have given up “you got any food?”

“no”

“You travel around these parts without supplies? Are you suicidal?”

She glanced at him “I didn't have a choice and talking about suicidal, your wound need's cleaning and stitches, why are you just sitting there?” the smell of blood was driving her Mad. already she could feel the hunger.

A sour expression crossed his face “lost most of my gear”

“and yet you're critizising me” his face grew even darker.

Reaching into her pouch she took out her set of needles and a skin of water “it's your lucky day, Lady why don't you do something usefull and heat this up” Ada threw her the skin of water.

Untying her set she took out a Needle and carefully placed it in the fire, next she unravelled a thread long enough and seperated it from the roll with her teeth.

“have you been bit?” She asked.

Still grumpy he murmured “why?”

“in the beginning when the undead where still under control of the mages the corpses were simply reanimated with magic, however after their defeat the undead where cut from their restraining leash, they evolved, their saliva carries a virus that will turn anyone into an undead if released into the bloodstream, so... Have. You. Been. Bit?”

Baldur swallowed “N-no I was cut”

Ada watched him for a moment which seemed to make him uncomfortable “roll up your sleeve” she said.

Relieved to do something he pulled up the sleeve to his shoulder, the cut wasn't all that deep but long enough to be serious, reaching from the triceps down to his elbow, this was going to take some time.

As she was beginning her work of roughly cleaning the wound she asked “So what's going on out there? I have been seperated from the civilized world for so long I was beginning to think everyone was dead”

Between clenched teeth Baldur managed to say “Well, everyone thought it be over after killing the magicians of Toran, noone really suspected that the control of the wizards held back most of their rage. At first it was just a normal attack on the frontiers, you can imagine how surprised everyone was when the onslaught never stopped” He spat on the ground as if he tasted something bitter “needless to say they were overrun, with them the brunt of our forces lost, our most fortyfied positions burned to the ground and the dead swarming into the country. Thankfully with the death of the magicians they had no organisation and split into individuals or small groups, which made them easier to pick off, but sadly it also meant they spread further. It was one hell of a year, literally. Until a few weeks ago when the orders came to retreat behind the river Erin” He made a face when she pushed the needle through his skin one last time “I never thought I'd see the day when we would give up half the country to those things”

Ada didn't say anything she hadn't realised that it was so bad, she had spent over a year in this cave trying to keep away from people, if she knew how to kill herself she would have done that by now.

She threw him a bundle of clean bandages “you can bandage it yourself can't you?”

He nodded.

For a time they sat in silence while Baldur bandaged his arm, as she mulled things over in her head her thoughts returned to Raphael as so often, she wasn't worried that he was dead, it would take more than the impending doom of mankind to finish him off, it was a numb saddness thinking about him, what he had done to her.

When Baldur was finished bandaging his arm he began to speak once more “You should come with us tomorrow, an additional ablebodied fighter would greatly increase our chances and we can always need people to fight against the dead”

Some unidentifyable emotion pricked her, after two years she still wished she could change everything, but it was useless she had tried that already and it had given her nothing but pain “No, that is no longer my fight”

Baldur seemed at a loss for words gaping a moment before speaking “no longer your fight?” he said disbelieving wich then turned to anger “It's everyone's fight! How can you just idly sit by?”

Her own rage broke through “You have no idea what I've been through! What I've suffered! So keep your ignorant yapping to yourself! Don't be so presumptious to think that just because you've SEEN hell is to know what it's like to live it. I have been fighting this war since the beginning, THERE. IS. NO. STOPPING IT.”

She realized she was standing above him threaningly with bared teeth, the corners of her eyes were flashing red. Trying to calm herself she sat back down “All you can do is try and contain it.” She said meaning as much the undead horde as the maddening rage in her core.

Baldur possibly feeling very much like he had come close to death, did deem it prudent not to press the matter “what else are you going to do then? Sit here until either starvation, the cold or one of those things finishes you off?”

Almost as if to herself she asked “does that really sound so bad? In light of what awaits you out there?”

“but you can't just give up” Baldur insisted.

She looked at him “why not? I don't have a child to look after like her” she pointed at the dozing woman and the kid “I've been at this for so long and yet I... I can't see how I could ever make it right again”

He didn't answer but on his face she could see that he secretly thought the same.

Suddenly there was a growling sound right in front of the cave and both of them were standing, Baldur already having his sword halfway out of his sheath.

Putting a hand on his swordarm she whispered in his ear “It's attracted by the fire, just let me handle it” He looked doubtfull, he sheathed his sword nontheless, but kept his hand frimly on the hilt.

The growling shadow that was entering was relatively small, a women perhaps, ada positioned herself at the wall next to the entrance.

The person comeing into the light was a teenage girl roughly sixteen years old, an expression of suffering edged into her face and a terrible wound between her shoulder and neck.

When she stepped into the warmth of the fire her expression changed to relief for a moment she seemed so peacefull and sad.

Ada made a quick step behind her put her arm around her throat and pulled her out of the cave.

It was a fullblown blizzard the cold hit her like a brick, reaching inside her like waves of madness breaking on the cliff of her soul.

She pulled out her long hunting knife and rammed it into the girls throat, seperating her head with a sharp twist. Falling to the ground with a thud it rolled a few feet until it stopped upright facing her.

The mouth opened and closed in surprised struggle as if to say “Why?”, until it remained still with an expression of silent suffering edged on her face.

It was so horrific and pitifull, ada would have cried if she still knew how.

She was so preoccupied by the accusing stare of the girl that at first she didn't notice the movements in the snow.

Turning around she saw half a dozen undead staring at her and the headless corpse.

For a moment both sides just looked at each other, then they screamed in fury and attacked.

Ada barely managed to dodge the vicious swipe of the first one, backing away she slashed randomly to increase their distance, taking a couple of fingers in the process.

It wasn't much time she bought herself but at least they paused long enough for her to assume a defensive stance before they launched another attack.

She was at a clear disadvantage, all she had was a knife which made it difficult to take off heads outside of close combat, you had to fight the undead with either fire, axes or broadswords. A skilled archer could take them out with a headshot but usually the only chance you had was a large blade with the power to chop off limbs.

Sidestepping the first she used it's momentum to take it's head, which put her in the way of another wielding a blade. Bloking the vertical strike she hoped her knife wouldn't break.

A bald man with a white bloodsmeared beard came at her from the side and suddenly lost his head as a dull sword cut into his neck. Baldur was a welcome distraction if it meant she wouldn't have to deal with all of them at once.

The cold was unbearable, her restraint from howling in madness and pain was withering as fast as an icecube in a hot pan. The fight was going in their favour as suddenly a foot of steel protrude from her chest, against her knowledge there had been another one behind her.

Feeling the cold not only on her skin but in her core as well was too much, a layer of red covered her eyes as the rage overcame her and she screamed all her pain and suffering into the night sky.

Stunned by the sound, the undead froze, reaching back she grabbed the one behind her and threw him forwards against a tree with such force, that he broke like a porcelain doll. Letting her knife drop to the ground she jumped at the rest, ripping them apart with clawed hands, biting pieces out of them, feeling their cold blood running down her throat and savouring every moment of it, like it was the sweetest nectar on the world.

When it was done she stood among the carnage, like a bloody angel of death.

It felt great.

There was no Pain, no suffering, no everlasting cold that never completely dissapears even in front of the warmest fire. For the first time in years she felt like a normal human being once more, but at the same time she knew that she had never been further away from being normal, or human.

Her hands were crimson and wet, the sword was still stuck in her chest and another one had lodged itself into her leg, she hadn't even noticed that one.

Grabbing the hilt she pulled it from her leg, the wound didn't bleed, how could it? There was no flowing blood in her body, except for that which she had just consumend.

Reaching over her head she grabbed the blade stuck in her back and pulled it out as well, closing her eyes she breathed in the cold, winter night, air. She had thought giving in to the rage would cause her to loose the bits and pieces of humanity she had left, but she felt more clear headed then all this time since she had died.

Turning around she faced Baldur who was holding his sword defensively between them, he hid it well but he was at least as scared as the woman and her child who where openly terrified.

Swallowing he asked “what in the name of the seven hell's are you? And what do you want?”

She looked at him sadly “My name is Ada, I am the woman who shared the warmth of her fire with you and stitched your wounds” tired she added “I just want to sit in front of my fire”

She walked towards them, the woman and her child shying away, Baldur always remaining between them. As she was about to enter her sanctuary something hit her hard in the back of the head and she fell.

Turning on her back she saw Baldur performing a downward thrust, the blade entered the underside of her jaw, going right through her brain, pinning her head to the ground. She didn't blame him really, she probably would have done the same in his position, the only thought she had was that perhaps she would finally be free.


Baldur let go of the blade turned around and tried to swallow his disgust for himself, this wasn't like killing mindless monsters, she had been aware and that thought alone was horrible to bear, he still thought it was the right decision, but it still left a bitter taste in his mouth.

“we can't stay here” he finally said, saying a small prayer for the victims of this night he took up one of the swords and motioned the frightened woman to follow him, they had a far and dangerous way ahead of them.


Soon the snow had covered all the body's and only a slight red shimmer through the layers told of what had happened here.

Hours had past as the heap with the sword at the top began to vibrate, sitting up ada thought what a peculiar feeling it was to have a large metal object in her head, for a moment she just sat in her bed of snow, feeling a little bit depressed that she still wasn't dead.

When she had pulled out the blade, she began to feel the cold.

More noticebly the hunger had returned, stonger than ever before.


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